All good things must come to an end and this is true once again.
After much discernment, prayer, conversation and a bit of gut feeling, I am resigning from the University Catholic Center, effective March 1st. I’ve been employed at the UCC full-time through various positions since the summer of 2005 and have done a great range of project and activities. These five years with all of the experiences I’ve had, new friends I’ve met and folks I’ve (hopefully) had the blessing to help have been quite amazing, unique and, in the true sense of the word, special to me.
I’ve seen quite a bit at the UCC. When I started, Fr. Dave was a year into the director chair, Fr. Ed Koharchik was a newly-ordained priest, Fr. Richard was packing up after helping with the transition of leadership. Deacon John was still working full-time at the UT System and thus not at the UCC anywhere nearly as often as we see him now. Pat Martin was the business manager not long after taking over for her husband, Deacon Terry Martin. Terri Grayson welcomed students and parents at the Front Desk. We had no development office or effort, all of the musicians were volunteers and I was the first student-employee in a number of years.
Fr. Dave left to serve as vocations director for the Paulists. Fr. Ed Koharchik left to serve the Paulists in outreach ministry and was tapped by then-Bishop Aymond to serve as pastor in Dripping Springs. Fr. Richard went back to hospital and other pastoral work. Pat moved on to start her own business and Terri left us to move on to other opportunities. I’ve had the pleasure of working, on staff, with some amazing folks– Jimmy Rose, Chris Babb, Amelia (Perry), Michelle Goodwin, Amber Fogarty, Ana-Cristina Gonzalez, Vanessa Mena, Deacon Tom Johnson, Ruben Garza, Beth Boren, Rosa Marroquin, Eugene Martir, Patrick Sheffield, Allie D’Amico, Adam Henry, Emily Bivona, Alicia Bivona, Maricar Reyes, Rob Johnson, Scott Ball, Jason Pinkstaff and the rest of the CCS crew here during the Diocesan campaign and eight great students from San Juan Diego Catholic High School. I’ve learned from all of these folks and so many more in our student organizations and our resident community.
The UCC was my spiritual home when I first walked onto the 40 Acres in August 2002. I’ve been in this building, more or less, every day since then. I can’t remember how much has changed. The baptismal font, crucifix behind the altar, the chairs, the altar and ambo, the stations of the cross were all great changes in the chapel space. I used to talk to Gloria in the office that’s since been renovated into our reconciliation chapel, the computer lab used to be just another classroom, the basement had completely inadequate heating and cooling, our parking lot used to have a full-time attendant facilitating the double-parking. I’ve fought with people who couldn’t understand why we wouldn’t let them park in our lot at 7:45 p.m. on a Sunday night (I don’t care if the Tower has a big “1” on it for the football team… you can’t park here!)
This building, this community, these organizations have been a home to me when I first left home and helped to guide me into making Austin my home. This community took a know-it-all, overall closed-minded 17-year old into a know-most-everything, relatively open-minded 25-year old. (The transformation seems more extreme in my head than it does typed out.)
In short, it has been truly an honor and blessing to be able to call this place my home and my workplace for all of these years. The University Catholic Center and all of the people I’ve encountered through it will hold a dear place in my heart.
I’ll follow-up with more on why I’m leaving and where I’m going.